Three weeks ago, I had an out-of-body experience. My life flashed before my own eyes. It was mesmeric, surreal, and enlightening because I was not in an accident nor on any drug. I was just inside Mission Yoga's sensory deprivation tank in San Francisco, CA.
Yes, floating inside an enclosed queen-size bed water tank for two hours made me lucid dream like the movie Inception. Maybe it was lying naked in the darkness, the thin air, or the complete silence that triggered this journey within a journey.
Whatever it was, I was forced to take a leap of faith. I let go of all my inhibitions and closed my eyes. Before I knew it, time ceased to exist. I was tranced. My senses were gone leaving me alone with my thoughts.
Thoughts about getting married in Paris to a future podcast topic were racing through my brain. These thoughts were so vivid, so real, and so distinct; it was as if my life were unravelling like a Twilight Zone episode.
Was I stuck in another dimension? Was I dead? Was I hallucinating? Still to this day, I cannot say. All I can say is ‘floating’ changed my life and it could change yours too. Here are two reasons why floating is the real deal.
1 - Floating Is Therapeutic
Since the 1950s - celebrities, athletes, and scientists have been using sensory deprivation tanks as a cure-all form of therapy. Thanks to a rising industry with more available services, anyone can join and become a member of the floating cult.
Floating - formally known as flotation therapy - is a 60-to-120-minute session where you lay inside an eight foot long by five foot wide tank. The tank is closed and contains less than a foot of soaked Epsom salt water. Costing you between $50-$70 give or take the time, floating offers you a number of different health benefits.
Do you have muscle pain? Go for a float. The 1,000 pounds of Epsom salts will ease your joints and muscles. While in the tank, I felt my back, neck, and shoulders all loosen up naturally. By the end of my session, my body felt rejuvenated.
Do you have trouble sleeping? Go for a float. There are no lights, no sounds, and no distractions. Intended to block out your entire world, floating truly gives you the best opportunity to sleep. Depending on the length of your session, two hours can feel like eight hours worth of sleep.
Do you have anxiety or stress? Go for a float. Studies have shown that flotation therapy releases small amounts of pain-reducing endorphins due to your body’s “fight or flight” responses shutting down. Essentially, you are taking antidepressants without ingesting any pills.
Bottom line, floating works. It's a stress reliever, a post-workout tool, and a massage in water. At the very least, floating will help you reach deep relaxation if it’s not already improving your health. But that’s not where the ceiling ends for floating, relaxation is just the first level.
2 - Floating Expands The Mind
Anytime I hear the word float and tank, I associate them with one of my favorite scenes from the movie Limitless. Spoiler alert! It’s the scene where Bradley Cooper’s character bumps into his ex-wife’s brother where he introduces and gives Cooper a miracle drug called NZT-48.
"You know how they say that we can only access 20% of our brain, well this lets you access all of it,'' said the ex-brother-in-law. After leaving Mission Yoga’s tank, I had an epiphany that floating tanks were the real NZT-48. Honesty, that’s how I feel about floating.
Floating took me to a place of deep thinking. I was able to focus and reflect on my life in a way that I’ve never done before. Pure and organic thoughts flowed through a mind that was truly separated from its body.
Like I said before, floating put me in this trance where life flashed before I opened my eyes. I was thinking about my current endeavours with podcasting while thinking about future events like getting married. Crazy right? These thoughts were so vivid that the amount of detail eluded me after waking up.
Today, I have fragments of: A podcast rant about money being a piece of paper that deciates and defines the status and worth of our lives. Fast Forward to my wedding in the Cathedrale Notre-Dame de Paris. The smell of lavender combined with oakwood precipitated down the aisle towards this woman in a white dress. All these thoughts were presented in the third person.
You see, imagination coupled with memories have such a profound impact on the way we think. During my float session, I gravitated towards both which allowed me to get clarity on where I want to go in life. Was that possible without floating? My answer is still formulating, so TBA.
Is Floating Worth The Leap of Faith?
Listen, I stand by what I said, floating did change my life. Steve the business owner of Mission Yoga really sold me on the idea of asking yourself what are you looking for in the tank: clarity, creative thinking, relaxation, etc. I wanted clarity and I got more than I anticipated. I already have booked two sessions in LA for this month and I am seriously considering buying a membership.
Having said all of that, floating is not for everyone. First off, if you are claustrophobic then going inside these enclosed tanks might and probably will trigger fear and panic. Floating is safe, but it’s not intended to make you uncomfortable. Secondly, these sessions can be expensive at $50 and up.
Lastly, if you don’t like hallucinating on your own thoughts then don’t waste your money and time. The whole point of floating is to gain something. Your body benefits mostly, but so does your mind. If you have an open mind like I did, check out these places below:
San Francisco - Mission Yoga ***Groupon*** $45 for 1 hour
Los Angeles - FLOAT LAB (Westwood) - $45 for 2 hours
Orange County - Newport Float Therapy ***Groupon*** $39 for 1 hour
San Diego - Float Spa San Diego ***Groupon*** $38.50 for 1 hour
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